/Former Open champ inaugurates new hole at Royal Dornoch
Former Open champion Paul Lawrie has officially inaugurated the new 7 th hole at Royal Dornoch.
Ahead of his two-day Tartan Pro Tour event over the Championship course, which began yesterday, Lawrie took time out to play the revised hole and meet local members.
The changes to the par 4, known as “Pier”, were pro - posed by Tom Mackenzie of renowned designers Mackenzie and Ebert.
The new hole – which measures 485 yards – has been pivoted to the right so the sea is in view for the entire length of the hole. It also features a green with only the sea and sky beyond it, a replica of the previous one. The work was first proposed after a course review in 2013 and approved by the club in 2015.
Lawrie, who made a birdie on his first playing of the hole, said: “It’s a really, really nice golf hole and they have done a great job with it.
“The old hole was further left, so it’s gone further right with better views of the sea, which is beautiful. It is similar kind of length, there are two nice bunkers down the left-hand side which are in play and there is a nice little false front at the star t of the green. It’s brilliant. Royal Dornoch is one of the b est courses in the country. I always love playing golf here right back to playing assistants’ golf. It’ s just great to spend time here.”
Mackenzie, added :“The view from the 7th tee is one of the most famous in the world of golf. Is there a first-time visitor to Dornoch who has not taken that photo down over the course?
“It seemed frustrating that once down off the tee, the sea disappeared until the green on the highest part of the course. There was plenty of room to the right so, logically, it made sense to rotate the hole that way, so the entire hole enjoyed the same glorious view with a new sea vista behind the green. It adds wonderfully to the Dornoch experience.”
An opening 73, which included three dropped shots in the last five holes, left Lawrie seven shots behind the leader, Chris Maclean, after the opening round in the third Tar tan Pro Tour event.
Maclean carded six birdies to lead by two shots from Jack Mcdonald, Sam Locke, Tom Higs on and former European Tour card holder Craig Lee.